Aditude Media to demonstrate powerful marketing tool developed in collaboration with the University of Ottawa.

Imagine you are standing with a group of friends near a digital sign and it immediately changes its content to something based on your age group or gender.  This is now possible with the use of a real time face recognition that can differentiate the age and gender characteristics of whoever is standing or walking near the sign.  This technology demonstrates what can happen when industry collaborates with leading labs at the University of Ottawa.

Professor Laganiere with the recognition system

Professor Laganiere with the recognition system

The face recognition technology used in the product was developed by Dr. Robert Laganière, a professor from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ottawa. This new capability came at very little cost to the company as an Engage grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) covered all the research costs incurred by the university. The Engage grant provides $25 000 in research funding for university researchers to work on a technical problem defined by the industry partner.

The resulting product from this research will likely be turning heads as it will enhance the effectiveness of digital signage advertising, increasingly more common in malls, busy streets and lobbies of large office buildings.

The demonstration will be held at Invest Ottawa, December 19th, from 2:30 pm to 5pm.

For information on how your company can connect with top researchers at the University of Ottawa, contact Stéphanie at the Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise Office at She will put you in touch with one of our business and technology transfer officers.

To learn more about Professor Laganière’s research, please go to

To learn more about Aditude Media Inc., please go to

Industry can get $50,000 of research done at a cost of $5,000 with the new VIP program

University of Ottawa researchers showed up in force this week to learn about the new VIP program that provides up to $50,000 in funding to work on a specific problem defined by industry partners. This new grant program was highlighted in a workshop organized by the Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise office (TTBE) at the university. VIP brings together funding opportunities from NSERC, OCE and Connect Canada. It builds from the popularity of the NSERC Engage program that has been enthusiastically received by the academic research community at the University of Ottawa, a testament to the research community’s interest in building new relationships with industry.

With a single application form, a project can receive $25,000 from NSERC and $20,000 from OCE for a 12 month research program, and an additional $5,000 from Canada Connect for a student intern who will spend time both at the company and at the university over a 4-6 month period. Since each academic researcher must meet NSERC’s strict guidelines for research excellence, industry partners are assured that they are working with strong research partners.


NSERC’s John Jackson explains VIP program to UOttawa researchers.

Industry partners who want to learn more about working with University of Ottawa research teams under this VIP program can contact the Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise (TTBE) office at the University of Ottawa. TTBE staff would be happy to help industry connect with researchers, as well as identify the appropriate funding opportunities for the project of interest.

To contact TTBE, email Stéphanie Richer at ttbe@uOttawa, or phone 613-562-5399.

Digital Transformation in Health 4.0 challenges industry and hospitals to improve health care delivery through collaboration

“I would like to challenge those of you here today to take real action towards making today’s meeting a success by talking to some of the people you have met on how you can work together to solve some of the issues we heard about today. If you can come up with a good project, OCE has funding for it.” That was the call to action by John Fielding, Regional Director at Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). This capped off a half day of presentations and workshops at Digital Transformation 4.0, an annual event that brings industry, academia, and the health care sector together to stimulate the modernisation of the health care sector through the use of digital technologies.


Digital Transformations in Health 4.0 is the fourth in a series of events put on by the University of Ottawa’s Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise Office. The theme of this year’s event was the use of digital technologies in optimizing patient-engagement and patient-centred care. It featured speakers from both the hospitals and the private sector who were incredibly open about issues they are facing.

From the hospital side, it was clear that the system  requires change. All stakeholders in the system, including management, doctors, and patients see the need for change, and are looking at how they can deliver the most appropriate care, without putting the patient at risk. Industry is taking note of this, and sponsoring companies such as CAE and MDI Solutions, as well as other participants such as MyOfficeTool gave concrete examples as to how they are partnering with hospitals to improve health care delivery.

For the entrepreneurs in attendance, the opportunities were clear despite structural barriers that are necessary in any large organisation. This event provided a forum with the 3 breakout sessions to enable people to get together and start tackling those barriers in order to realise the opportunities.

 OTTN and TTBE, as well as the Ontario Centres of Excellence are looking forward to helping to build partnerships  for improving healthcare.  Together, we will be following up with participants to ensure there is a lasting impact from this half day conference. 


Leading haptics engineering team is developing technologies to bring more touch to our world

On the fifth floor of the University of Ottawa’s Iconic SITE Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building, Dr. Abdulmotaleb El Saddik and his team of students are changing the way we interact with the world. Dr. El Saddik is at the forefront of haptics, a field that brings touch to electronic devices.

Haptics technologies can be found everywhere in our modern world. Examples range from force feedback responses in flight simulators that train the commercial and military pilots that keep us safe, to built-in rumble packs in gaming controllers that enhance our games, and even to the phone vibrations that provide an alternative to ring tones of our mobile phones.

This is just the beginning of what will be an explosion of haptics in everyday life. In the not so distant future, deformable screens will bring tactile touch to our smart phones, and air jets and electromagnetic will bring touchable holograms. Dr. El Saddik is at the forefront of this revolution.

  “ The growing number of applications for next generation haptics can be found in almost every domain. Technology developers are taking steps to ensure that the latest haptics technology will have a much larger presence in their products. It is with this in mind that our lab is taking haptics technology to a whole new level of sophistication,” says Dr. El Saddik. He is becoming known around the world for  finding innovative applications for haptics technologies.

Dr. El Saddik’s projects include haptic feedback systems in vehicles, haptic enabled clothing that allow individuals to transmit and receive touch, and medical systems that provide feedback to both doctors and patients. His team focuses on the computer science and engineering of haptics. He deals with the challenges of integrating the advanced data transfer protocols haptic devices require for the massive amounts of data transferred real time in two directions by haptic devices. This means dealing with latency and processing times by developing new compression formats and haptics transfer protocols. For instance, the lab intends to make it easier for game developers to deal with the high volume of data associated with haptics parameters.

Dr. El Saddik and his large team of students have been well recognized by their peers for excellent research in this field. The team is now looking to bring haptics and the underlying technologies that make them possible to practical applications. The lab is an excellent resource for industry partners looking to add that special touch to their products.

See the Tabaret article for more information about Haptics at uOttawa:

Professor El-Saddik’s research websites can be found at and at

Information about the University of Ottawa can be found at

For information on research partnerships contact

Smart video monitoring company iWatchLife combines university research excellence and industry market savvy.


When Dr. Robert Laganière, professor at uOttawa’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science developed an intelligent video surveillance system, he knew it had the potential to change the field of video surveillance. He did not know, however, that in a few short years, global consumer electronics company Samsung would be distributing it through the latest version of their home monitoring camera.

With the help of the University of Ottawa’s Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise office, Dr. Laganière secured prototype and commercialization funding from the Ottawa Technology Transfer Network, NSERC and OCE. This resulted in a start up company founded by Dr. Laganière, his students, and the University of Ottawa.

Soon after, Dr. Laganière met Charles Black, CEO of Telewatch. Together, they pursued the emerging market for consumer video monitoring and formed a new company called iWatchLife.

“The partnership with Dr. Laganière’s team enabled us to capitalize on the emerging market for home monitoring by bringing to market one of the first cloud based monitoring systems that you could access from any device” says Charles Black.

iWatchLife provides consumers with the power to monitor their property and their loved ones from almost anywhere, with little cost, and by focussing their attention only to activities that are of greatest concern to them. This includes alerting people to things like medical emergencies or break-ins at their home.

As of 2013, professor Laganière works as chief scientist at iWatchLife. The company has 15 employees, the majority of them being graduates of uOttawa and several from Dr Laganière’s lab. In addition, the iWatchLife Smart Event Detection product is touching many lives as it is being distributed around the world through a partnership with Samsung.

The iWatchLife story shows the direct impact that academic research can have on industry and society. The University of Ottawa’s Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise office is set up specifically to help companies access technology and build lasting relationships with researchers such as Professor Laganière. In developing such partnerships, companies have a valuable resource to help them adapt to change and grow into emerging market opportunities.

For more information on Robert Laganière’s research visite

To see how you can benefit from Smart Event Detection, visit the iWatchLife website at

 Other technologies available for license from the University of Ottawa can be viewed at the Global Technology Portal

Better mobility drives University of Ottawa mechanical engineering lab to create new technologies.

Marc Dourmit is an assistant professor in the University of Ottawa’s department of Mechanical Engineering with the very ambitious goal of developing a bionic leg that will bring a new level of freedom and mobility to lower limb amputees. In the US alone, there are 1.7 million people living with limb loss,1 however, there are many challenges in developing a replacement limb as advanced components must be developed and integrated into a package that is safe and reliable while looking and feeling good for the user.

Prosthetics and artificial limb systems have continuously improved with the development of new technologies. Recent advancements include smart adapting microprocessor knees, myoelectric controllers and targeted muscle re-innervation. These enable smarter and more lifelike artificial limbs with rugged and advanced components. Despite such advancements, adapting new technologies into an affordable prosthetic remains a significant challenge.

Professor Dourmit and his students are taking a long term perspective by developing and testing new components for artificial limbs one piece at a time. Many of their components may also be used for other applications. For example, Mr. Dourmit’s team has developed an enhanced pneumatic actuator muscle that is capable of handling up to 10 times more force than standard technology, saving crucial weight and bulk for the leg. These pneumatic muscles could also have industrial , aerospace, and military applications such as weight bearing exoskeletons for military or recreational use, and tactile industrial robotics found on automotive factory lines.

With the demonstrated abilities of this muscle well established, work has now begun in its application to an advanced prosthetic. Brandon Fournier, a 4th year engineering student in Professor Doumit’s lab is testing the muscle’s responsiveness to EMG control as part of his honours project. EMG, or electromyography measures the electrical signal of muscles. These signals are tapped by Mr. Fournier in order to control the muscle, with a view to controlling the artificial leg. He is laying out the groundwork for future projects that will use EMG as well as other inputs in order to control powered prosthetic assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles.

We will continue to follow this exciting project and look for new technologies that take Dr. Doumit and his team a step closer to the development of a new bionic leg. In parallel, we will be looking for other applications in order to transfer the technologies into companies that will integrate them into other products.

To see the pneumatic muscle in action, just click on the video below.

Additional information about the pneumatic artificial muscle can be found at the Autm – Global Technology Portal

1. Kathryn Ziegler-Graham, PhD, et al. “Estimating the Prevalence of Limb Loss in the United States – 2005 to 2050,” Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 89 (2008): 422-429.

University of Ottawa Engineering and Heart Institute Collaboration leads to Advanced Heart Diagnostic Software


Dr. Michel Labrosse, an associate professor in the University of Ottawa’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, has developed a software program that shows promise in improving the diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart disease affecting Aortic Valves. This technology is a direct result Dr. Labrosse working in collaboration with Dr. Munir Boodhwani, a cardiac surgeon, and Dr. Benjamin Sohmer, an anaesthesiologist and echocardiographer, both from the world renowned University of Ottawa Heart Institute. This new software package works with existing ultrasound diagnostics equipment, and enables a surgeon to provide patients with the optimal intervention for the situation. 

 Typically, a heart patient is assessed by ultrasound in advance of surgery. It does a great job in demonstrating the need for surgery, but lacks advanced analytical capabilities relating to the aortic valve. As a result, the treatment of diseased aortic valve’s are heavily weighted by the surgeon’s immediate assessment of an aortic valve’s condition during heart surgery. This limits a surgeon’s options as it provides little time for detailed analysis, and no possibility to talk to the patient. Consequently, the safest and most common intervention is complete replacement of the aortic valve, even when there might be potential for repairing the existing valve.

 By working together, this team of engineers and clinicians have developed a simulation tool that can help surgeons make more patient-centered decisions regarding treatment options for aortic valve patients that suffer from common heart conditions such as aortic insufficiency or bicuspid aortic valve. Simply named AVQ and AVSim, this software package is designed to give a more complete picture of the heart prior to surgery using the data already collected by ultrasound examinations. It enables a comprehensive analysis of various treatment options, ensuring the patient gets the surgery that is carefully optimized for the situation. The software package gives surgeons and patients a more comprehensive view of the aortic valve’s pre operative condition, thus giving support for analyzing and discussing all treatment options, and may result in more minimally invasive cardiac surgeries.

The OTTN is helping Dr. Labrosse and his colleagues find an industry partner that can further develop AVQ and AVSim for use in hospitals around the world. This technology demonstrates the exceptional potential of university research for society when you bring key engineering talent to clinical specialists under the same organization to solve real world problems. Furthermore, it provides industry partners with opportunities to work with creative engineering professors and students who introduce new and innovative ways to deal with real world problems, as well as with clinical staff who represent the ultimate end users of the medical devices.

 For more information about the AVQ and AVSim software, please visit our information page on the AUTM Global Technology Portal.

Professor Labrosse’s research website, including publications can be found at

 Information about the University of Ottawa Heart Institute can be found at

 Information about the University of Ottawa can be found at

University of Ottawa creates opportunities for Pharmaceutical Industry

Scientific innovation in the nation’s capital takes aim at the pharmaceutical industry with the development of new and exciting technologies that could create opportunities for pharmaceutical developers and manufacturers.



 The University of Ottawa’s renown Faculty of Science and a team of world class chemists have taken the task of improving the quality and affordability of pharmaceutical products by developing new tools and techniques for drug development and manufacturing. The technologies disclosed below are products of the synergy between active research programs in natural product synthesis and biosynthesis, medicinal chemistry, bioanalytical chemistry, and chemical biology, which continuously serve to bolster the University’s reputation in the area of biopharmaceutical chemistry.

 Among the new technologies under development is a series of techniques related to carbon-nitrogen chemistry. One application is in the synthesis of amino acids for synthetic protein development, which is an area that will have profound effects on the pharmaceutical industry. The University of Ottawa techniques employ a one step reaction to amino acids and their derivatives, which can be used to cheaply synthesize many peptides required in the manufacturing of protein and peptide based drugs. Further developments in the synthesis of beta-aminocarbonyl, found in several major drugs, have also reduced the number of steps in the synthesis.

 Working in a collaborative environment, the University’s chemistry research is moving from the chemists’ bench, and into disease models. For instance, the chemistry profiled above is currently being used to synthesize Nucleuophilic Enzyme inhibitors. These molecules present new opportunities for pharmaceutical developers to create new cancer fighting drugs based on the inhibitors. Furthermore, the inhibitors can have investigational applications that could be used to discover new pathophysiological processes.

 Another fascinating and potentially ground breaking technology, is a new type of Single Molecule Magnet or SMM that can be used for drug delivery and imaging contrasting. These compounds were created though the University of Ottawa’s globally recognized expertise in photochemistry. The SMMs are easy to produce by combining a gold nanoparticle with a dinuclear dysprosium SMM in a manner that retains their magnetic properties. The technology enables an affordable source of stable SMM to develop materials for a variety of applications in medicine and information technology.

 The technologies listed above are but a fraction of what the University of Ottawa has to offer in terms of partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry. For more information please contact the University of Ottawa’s Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise Office for more details by visiting

 Information on new technologies related to chemistry and pharmaceutical development can be found by clicking on the links for each technology listed below:


Amino Acids and Derivatives; One Step Synthesis


Efficient synthesis of synthetic peptides containing beta-aminocarbonyls


Biaryl coupling to generate compounds for pharmaceutical and organic semiconductor applications


Inhibitors of Nucleophilic Enzymes for therapeutic and drug discovery applications


Single-Molecule Magnets (SMM) for drug delivery and imaging contrast agents


Antioxidants to preserve lipids


Non-invasive 3D Imaging using CARS


Pharmaceutical Authentication and Monitoring


A full list of University of Ottawa technologies can be found at the AUTM Global Technology Portal.

Preparing for partnerships with research intensive multinationals


OTTN recently met up with John Weigelt, National Technology Officer at Microsoft Canada. He highlighted opportunities for academic researchers to work with Microsoft, including  short term technology licensing opportunities and longer term research partnerships. Getting the attention of such globally recognized brands requires effort though. Researchers need to differentiate themselves in order to get noticed on the global stage. OTTN has summarized a few tips for researchers based on our conversation with John and other industry representatives. Read more of this post

Laser à fibre femtoseconde portable